Nestle concedes its products play part in rainforest destruction

Press release - March 18, 2010
Food and beverage company Nestle has overnight suspended direct contracts with its main supplier of palm oil, after a Greenpeace report was released implicating the company in the destruction of rainforest, which is pushing orangutans to the brink of extinction.

Nestle has also blocked a controversial Greenpeace YouTube video (1) demonstrating the link between the popular snack, Kit Kat, and the death of orangutans. The video, 'Have a Break?' launched overnight, parodies Nestle's Kit Kat ads.

Simultaneous activities against Nestle took place across Europe as around 100 Greenpeace activists, some dressed as orangutans, went to the company's headquarters and factories in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands. They called on Nestlé staff to urge the company to stop using palm oil that's the result of forest destruction. The oil is used in popular products like Kit-Kats.

The damning new Greenpeace report, "Caught Red-Handed: How Nestle's Use of Palm Oil is Destroying Rainforests and the Climate" (2) exposes how Nestle is sourcing increasing amounts of palm oil from suppliers - including the Sinar Mas group, Indonesia's largest producer of palm oil - which continue to expand into the rainforest and carbon-rich peatlands, as well as into critical orangutan habitat.

Overnight Nestle said it was suspending direct contracts with Sinar Mas. But Greenpeace says the concessions don't go far enough.

Climate Campaigner Simon Boxer: "The company accepts much more must be done to stop the destruction of forests for palm oil, but it hasn't delivered the kind of action we hoped to see. They may now be suspending direct contracts with forest trasher Sinar Mas, but Sinar Mas palm oil will still end up in Nestle factories. Nestle also buys palm oil from third party suppliers like Cargill, and Sinar Mas palm oil still flows through their pipes.

The Greenpeace campaign will continue until Nestle has cut the Sinar Mas group from its supply chain completely."

Boxer said dairy giant Fonterra should take heed of Nestle's bowing to public pressure, given that it is New Zealand's biggest user of palm kernel animal feed, which also contributes to the destruction of Indonesia's rainforests. (3)

Regarding the Kit Kat spoof video, Boxer said Greenpeace would continue to put the video up on other websites until Nestle removes all rainforest destroying palm oil from its supply chain.

Other contacts: Simon Boxer: Greenpeace Climate Campaigner: 021905579 Kathy Cumming – Media and Communications – 021 495 216

VVPR info: Images to accompany story can be downloaded here: Video footage from Greenpeace UK's protest at Nestle's HQ in London is available from our ftp site: from our ftp server: Server: username: media password: d15tr1but10n Video/100317_Nestle_protest_UK.mpeg

Notes: 1) 2) “Caught Red-Handed: How Nestlé’s Use of Palm Oil is Having a Devastating Impact on Rainforest, The Climate and Orang-utans” at: 3)